Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
January 13, 2009
To compliment the sleek profile the Insight has been designed with a low centre of gravity helped by the repackaged IMA system, which gives customers a fine handling car with a highly flexible interior.
In order to help Insight owners enjoy the full benefits of Honda hybrid technology, the Insight will feature a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology, named the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). Eco Assist combines multiple functions:
A driver-activated ECON mode that optimises control of the continuously variable transmission, engine and related powertrain components to conserve fuel A driver feedback function that uses speedometer background colour that can provide real-time guidance on achieving higher fuel efficiency A fuel economy scoring function that provides feedback about current driving efficiency, as well as feedback on cumulative, long-term driving style
Key safety features are Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure, which provides improved protection for vehicle occupants and helps mitigate damage to other vehicles; six airbags including driver passenger, side and curtain units; and a pedestrian-injury mitigation front body design.
Other standard equipment on all new Insights includes 60/40 split and fold-down rear seatback, two-tier digital instrument panel, automatic climate control, power windows, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and a MP3 compatible audio system with auxiliary audio input jack and Speed-Sensitive Volume Control.
High specification Insight models add cruise control, 6-speaker audio system with USB audio interface, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and Honda Satellite Navigation System with Voice Recognition.
All Insights are powered by an advanced 1.3-litre aluminium-alloy i-VTEC engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox. The highly-efficient, ultra-low friction engine is assisted by a new generation of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system for excellent fuel economy and low emissions.
The Insight's IMA system incorporates a 14 PS electric motor, advanced battery pack, and compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) - recapturing kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration and supplying additional power for acceleration when needed. Packaging of the ultra-compact IMA battery and IPU in the vehicle's rear floor allows the enhanced utility of a 60/40 split and fold-down rear seat back.
The IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed driving conditions. It also provides for cylinder deactivation within the petrol engine during deceleration and shutoff when the vehicle is stopped.
Honda is a leader in developing cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, including the original Honda Insight, introduced in 1999 as the first commercially produced petrol-electric hybrid car in Europe and the US. Honda has announced plans to increase its global hybrid sales to over 500,000 units annually with the Insight being followed by a car based on the CR-Z concept and a hybrid version of the Jazz.
Honda is also a pioneer in the development of advanced alternatives to fossil fuels, including the zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car, the world's most advanced low environmental impact production car.
(11th January 2008)